Skip to content

Farewell to Floppies: Part 0 – Adieu to the FLCS.

I re-read this post on digital comics yesterday (based on Brian Hibb’s post on Digital Comics sales), and I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before. For starters how many frustrations I actually had with comics buying compared to pretty much every other recreational aspect of my life. But more importantly, I realized that I have fallen into buying comics in ways that are actively harmful to how I’d like to see the industry as a whole develop. Read more

Usage Based Billing – The Elephant in the Muddy Waters in the Middle Ground

Oh Wikimedia Commons, is there any topic you don't have the perfect image for?

I got an e-mail from a friend (on his way to a Useage Based Billing consultation) yesterday curious as to what my thoughts were on the whole thing. I haven’t written anything about it at length (other than the odd tweet, mostly because my position generally falls outside both of the established “camps”, and when I have talked about it I generally found the discussion quickly deteriorated to me being asked to defend “the other side” and tenants I didn’t actually agree with.

Actually my biggest problem with the “debate” so far is that the two sides usually distill down to the arguments that “UBB is necessary” vs. “UBB is bad” and given that those aren’t actually mutually exclusive positions it’s frustrating to try and even define what the core issues are.

But in yesterdays exchange, I realized that I do have some thoughts which are a different viewpoint from most of what I’ve been seeing written – so if nothing else it might provide a different angle for people to contextualize their own positions – whatever they may be. Read more

Adventures in Universe Building (aka The “My Little Pony” Posts): Part I – 80s Cartoons Were Terrible

Not a good show.

Thankfully I pretty much gave up on any notion of being “cool” a lifetime ago… but this is a big leap even by my standards. Against all odds, there are people out there who want me to write about “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” (presumably because they want to laugh at me). Before I do however, I need to start somewhere else, and work around to it, because what’s really been turning my crank since Christmas is thinking about Universe Building and (ultimately) how I think a lot of ongoing fantasy series have really messed up the concept of Universe Building in both audience expectation, and also creator intent. But since Universe Building is such a meta concept, I need to craft a bit of a “grand unified kitchen sink” theory requiring all sorts of odd bits and pieces, so there’ll be a lot of ranting about seemingly non-related things for a bit, capice? I actually considered doing this as a video blog as I’m stronger at lecturing on this type of material rather than trying to write it, but I’m not sure I’m man enough to be confident I can pull off a YouTube video extolling the virtues of “Twilight Sparkle” and “Rainbow Dash”. So – bear with me for the next few days as we see where this crazy rabbit hole leads. First stop: The 80s!

Cartoons targeted at girls in the 80s were, for the most part, terrible. I can say this as an authority. I was the only boy on my street until grade school, so I’ve played more than my fair share of Barbie, My Little Pony, and – most of all – Strawberry Shortcake. Suffice it to say if I was going to be eternally stuck playing the Peculiar Purple Pieman (and I was, invariably, always The Peculiar Purple Pieman(1) ) I had to understand “the canon”, as it were. Read more

Footnotes:
  1. from Porcupine Creek – ya-ta-ta-tah-ta-ta-tah-ta-ta-ta-CHA! []

Return to the Pop-Culture Tribes

While fixing a server glitch – I found that this post from 2008 had an HTML error which meant it wasn’t ever posted properly. I actually think this may stand up as one of the most prescient things I’ve ever written… so if you happen to be in the mood for some wool-gathering on Pop-Culture futurism, here’s a kind-of-sort-of-not-really-brand-new-blast-from-the-past:

Rise of the Pop-Culture Tribes

Waiting For The Floss

If you follow my twitter at all (bastion of such visionary insight as this) you know that I have nothing but the highest opinion for the Savage Critic himself Mr. Brian Hibbs. He’s one of the strongest writers about the realities of the direct market in comics, and is a true credit to all the hard working retailers out there who have really kept the comics market alive through the various recession periods (as Brian himself will point out the comics retailers, not the individual fans are the actual customers of the distributors since what they buy is largely nonreturnable).

I do want to write a bit of a counter-point to his latest post though – not because I wish him, or any retailer really, ill – but because it’d help clarify some thoughts I’ve had for a while about the state of digital distribution in comics. Read more

Kevin Smith, and the “Red State” Experiment

red-state-posterKevin Smith’s release plan for “Red State” isn’t particularly revolutionary – and you can’t convince me it was supposed to be. What it is, is an interesting experiment if one happens to be Kevin Smith. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but the armchair studio-heads need to be careful to recognize in their blogs and tweets that there is absolutely nothing that “the industry” is going to be able to learn from this little adventure – unless you happen to be interested in investing in low-budget features directed by Kevin Smith.

Your nickle tour summary is that Smith had a much-hyped event yesterday after the Sundance premiere of the film (replete with protesting Fred Phelps), where he was to auction off the distribution rights to his new horror film “Red State”. What actually happened was the classic “old switcheroo” where Smith actually sold himself the distribution rights, and announced he’d be four-walling the film for several months – prior to a wider October 19th release (presumably with a traditional distributor). “Four Walling”, if you’re not familiar with the term, is when a distributor pays to rent out an entire theatre in advance, and then keeps the entirety of the ticket proceeds… as opposed to regular exhibition where the distributor and the exhibitor split ticket revenues.

It was at this point that the film bloggosphere exploded with rage, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me. Writers were alternately angry that Smith lied to them about his intentions, or that he was using them for promotion of his new distribution company, or that he plans to charge $60 to $70 for tickets to these advance screenings when critics are used to getting promotional screenings for free… or… something. They were certainly angry. The one thing that surprises me is that more prominent film-bloggers didn’t grow up watching professional wrestling – since the “vaguely worded *big reveal* let-down” is pretty much the oldest game in town. I don’t really have anything to say about any of that. I wasn’t even aware of the film until e-mail started trickling in today on the topic. Read more

Wait What?

Aaannnd we’re back…. welcome to the FUTURE!

I’ve written before about how hard it is to resume blogging after coming out of a “production coma” (which is a weird inversion of a regular coma, in that you are actually functioning ridiculously more than the mean, and yet your friends all think you’ve been kidnapped or something).

The reason why I usually don’t blog in production are many. Not just because time is at an incredible premium (which is true), or because of “teh spoilers” – but more because I tend to get incredible “tunnel vision of interest” and I’m well aware that blogging about, say, ACTRA bonds would get old fast.

So, mum’s the word.

If you haven’t been on twitter – the last five months have been a mad-cap sprint on an adaptation of “Billy Bishop Goes To War” that I’ve been (no hyoerbole) honoured to be involved with, and I hope we’ve done some small measure of justice to. There’ll likely be more news on the “Billy Bishop” front in the new year, so I’ll maybe talk about it then (hopefully when I’ve got some more distance).

But the important thing is that I’m back in 2011 with even more things I want to discuss – starting with my new obsession with “My Little Pony”.

This would be known as the “cliffhanger ending”.

Shameless Canadian Comedy Award Campaigning

Spam as blogpost. I think this is a new low. Hooray for living in the future!

As I’m neck deep in production, the twitter box to your right might be a little more active than the site over the next few weeks – but probably not very. Hope everyone’s having a great Summer!

I am so sorry for the spam groupmail, but it completely escaped my notice that the deadline for public Canadian Comedy Award voting is coming up at the end of the week. Read more